The Vel Tones (3) aka The Veltones
The Vel Tones (3) (Memphis, TN)
aka The Veltones
1959 - Someday / Fool In Love (Satellite 100/Mercury 71526)
1958 - Did You (Sun)
1958 - Good Gracious (Fire) (Sun)
Carla Thomas bb The Veltones (Uncredited)
1960 - Gee Whiz (Look At His Eyes) / For You (Satellite 102/Atlantic 2086)
The Vel Tones (3)
1966 - I Do / Darling (Goldwax 301)
Before its glory days as Stax, the label was called Satellite — founded in 1957, by Jim Stewart in his wife’s uncle’s garage in Memphis. Stewart was a fiddle player and so his tastes naturally leaned toward country music, which is what he originally sought to record and release on Satellite, along with rockabilly and pop tunes. A year after starting out, Stewart got a much-needed financial boost from his sister Estelle Axton, who mortgaged her house to buy a console tape recorder, and in so doing, became a financial partner in Satellite. In 1959, she helped the burgeoning label out of the garage and into a better facility in Brunswick, Tenn. (about 20 miles northeast of Memphis).
It was during Satellite’s sabbatical in Brunswick that Stewart became interested in R&B music. Producer, songwriter and guitarist Lincoln Wayne “Chips” Moman helped turn him on to some of the local groups, one of which was a black vocal quintet that called themselves the Veltones (sometimes written Vel Tones). The group, composed of Samuel Jones, Alvin Standard, Kenneth Patterson, George Powell and Jimmy Ellis, had been singing in Memphis since 1952, taking their inspiration from doo-wop. Stewart enjoyed the Veltones’ smooth sound and offered to record and release a single for the group on Satellite.
Carla Thomas & Jim Stewart
On a handful of occasions in the spring of 1959, the Veltones trucked on out to Brunswick to record a pair of songs. Chips Moman would serve as the guitarist on the session, along with bassist Jimbo Hale and drummer Jerry “Satch” Arnold. Moman and Arnold also wrote the song selected for the A-side, ‘Fool in Love,’ which features Chips’ ghostly, twangy lead guitar — a peculiar sound on a ’50s R&B recording. The B-side was the more traditionally sounding ballad ‘Someday,’ with songwriting credit given to the group. Although it wasn’t the first record released on the label, ‘Fool in Love’/‘Someday’ was released in the summer of 1959 as Satellite 100 . As it turned out, the reboot was appropriate. Of course, the Veltones record would be the first by a black group on a label that would soon become world famous for R&B music.
In addition, the single marked the first time Stewart and Axton made any money from their record label. Since Satellite could only manage to distribute copies regionally, Mercury Records contacted Stewart with an offer to take the record national. Mercury paid Satellite between $400-500 for the rights and re-released the record in September 1959. However, the record flopped and no one saw any more money from ‘Fool in Love.’ The Veltones are also the backing vocal group on 'Gee Whiz' by Carla Thomas (some people say the Del-Rios) . That hit brought the fledgling record company to preeminence as Stax Records. In 1966 The Veltones would cut two sides for Goldwax Records. although by the time of this single there had been some personnel changes.
Fool In Love Someday Good Gracious (Fire)
Carla Thomas bb The Veltones
Gee Whiz (Look At His Eyes) / For You
The Vel Tones (3)
I Do Darling
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